Friday, August 13, 2010

The dilemma of the signed guitar.

Here,we have a guitar signed by Debbie Davies,Coco Montoya,Johnny Winter,Jonny Lang and Elvin Bishop. That's a pretty impressive list of guitar players. It is the most recent guitar to come through the shop with a common dilemma. Guitars are meant to be played. Signed guitars are meant to be hung on a wall and look cool. Which to choose?
  The usual train of thought seems be as follows: "Hey,I'm going to get a chance to meet Celebrity X on Saturday,I should have him/her/it sign a guitar for me! I'll just get this $89 special and he/she/it can sign that." So,now you've got a beginners guitar...with a professionals signature on it. Consider what you're going to do with the guitar when you're done.
   Covering the signatures with lacquer is a good way to preserve the finish but presents it's own issues. The solvents that make the finish flow can also dissolve the signatures! The silver marker popular for autographs seems pretty immune but other kinds of Magic Marker are hit or miss. If possible,always test on scrap wood. Additionally,many guitars are finished with some kind of Poly that must be scuffed for any new finish to stick. Using sandpaper to scuff the finish without marring the signature is tricky business. Consider how you're going to preserve the signature BEFORE you get it.
  You might consider,as an option,bringing in a pickguard to be signed. With Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul pickguards being both affordable and easy to find at your local guitar store, it's a viable option. That pickguard,with a picture of you and the star,in a frame on the wall makes for an easier to handle remembrance of your touch with greatness.


steve said...

good tip, never thought of that.

Phil Clark said...

Thanks,Steve! Guitars that aren't played are no fun. Phil